We can’t get enough wonky vegetables!
Supermarket chain Asda has launched its ‘Wonky Veg’ Box in stores including Huddersfield following customer feedback and campaigning, and sold out immediatey.
Now store staff are hoping for more and a Kirklees councillor has called on the chain to increase stocks of strange-shaped carrots and parsnips.
Clr Hilary Richards tweeted: “20 boxes of knobbly veg are not enough for your Huddersfield store. When will there be more @asda?”
The answer from delighted Asda chiefs was instant: “As soon as we can”.
The retailer has committed to making the selection box of ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables a permanent initiative – and is committing to putting 10,000 boxes in to 550 stores, at least once a month.
It means that shoppers in Huddersfield be able to buy the much talked about £3.50 ‘Wonky Veg Box’, a new family sized box that includes nine in-season misshaped winter vegetable lines, at the Bradford Road store.
The first batch went on sale on Thursday and sold out within minutes, a move repeated in many other stores.
The move follows the resounding success of last week’s small trial at just a handful of Asda stores in the South of England. Asda said they hope to have more boxes in stores next week.
The initiative has also been championed during the latest series of Channel 4’s ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’, with the foodie stars challenging Asda to extend its wonky fruit and vegetable range even further, which led to the new development.
Each box includes 5kg of fresh produce which is enough to feed a family of four for a working week and costs just £3.50 - 30% cheaper than standard lines. The contents of the wonky fruit and vegetable box will vary dependant on the season but customers can expect to see things such as: carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, leeks, parsnips and onions, to name a few.
It will result in at least 500 tonnes of ‘waste’ fruit and vegetables being taken from farmers and sold in the supermarket by the end of 2016.
Ian Harrison, Asda’s produce quality director, said: “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to our wonky vegetable box and think it shows just how conscious our customers are of food waste, particularly in the produce aisle.”
The ‘wonkiness’ element of the veg changes by product.
Currently, 15% of potatoes do not meet specifications because they’re too big, too small or blemished and 15% of parsnips don’t make the shelf because they’re odd shaped or have superficial defects.
Similarly, 10% of onions that are the wrong shape and size, and 8% of carrots grown with knobbles and bobbles are left with growers.
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